Property news round up 8 Apr 2018

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Full-year forecasts double after 3.1% jump in Q1 home prices

THE 3.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s private home price index based on its first quarter flash estimate has shocked most property consultants, who were expecting a rise of 1 to 2 per cent.

The rise is the steepest quarter-on-quarter hike since Q2 2010, when the index rose 5.3 per cent.

A check by The Business Times among seven property consultants on Monday found that they have raised their forecasts for the whole of this year; where they had previously predicted a rise of between 3 and 8 per cent in the benchmark property price index, they now peg their forecasts for a rise of between 7 and 15 per cent.




Tiong Seng-Ocean Sky JV bags Cairnhill Heights in S$72.6m en bloc deal

A JOINT venture between Singapore-listed construction and engineering firm Tiong Seng Holdings and civil engineering company Ocean Sky International has agreed to acquire Cairnhill Heights condominium for S$72.6 million, less than the sellers’ initial asking price of more than S$80 million.

Tiong Seng holds a 60 per cent stake in the joint-venture company TSky Development while Ocean Sky holds the remaining 40 per cent. TSky Development had earlier acquired Sloane Court Hotel and a small, adjoining parcel in Balmoral Road last year for S$80.5 million.

It is developing a 12-storey, 80-unit condominium on the land.

Of the over 200 conserved bungalows, just 16 are in the style of 38 Oxley Road

OF THE more than 200 bungalows in Singapore conserved to date, only an estimated 16 bungalows belong to the same style and era as 38 Oxley Road.

This was one of the findings in the National Heritage Board’s (NHB) 31-page research report on founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew’s home, released on Monday.

The “early style” bungalow, which has a complex architectural typology dating back to 18th century colonial India, has distinctive, rare and well-preserved features, said the report.

HDB resale prices drop 0.8% in Q1

PRICES of resale government flats have dropped for six consecutive quarters, according to flash estimates from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Monday. HDB resale prices dropped 0.8 per cent in the first quarter of this year from the previous three months, an acceleration from the price decline of 0.2 per cent seen in the final quarter of 2017. Last year, they fell 1.5 per cent due to a combination of factors, including the increase in housing grants, the shorter waiting time for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in certain housing estates and the introduction of the Re-offer of Balance flats.

Ascendas Reit sells Old Toh Tuck Road building for S$24m

ASCENDAS Reit announced that it entered into a sale-and-purchase agreement on Tuesday to sell 30 Old Toh Tuck Road to interior design company Soon Bee Huat Trading for S$24 million. The five-storey ramp-up logistics building, at 19 years old, has 39 years remaining on its land lease tenure; its gross floor area measures 16,353 square metres and its occupancy stood at 86.1 per cent as at Dec 31, 2017. The selling price is 22.4 per cent higher than the S$19.6 million original purchase price, Ascendas said, and is at an 18.2 per cent premium over the S$20.3 million valuation of the property as at March 31.




Banyan Tree, Vanke JV acquires hotel assets of Banyan Tree China Hospitality Fund

A JOINT venture between Banyan Tree Holdings and Chinese real estate developer Vanke has acquired all the hotel assets of the Banyan Tree China Hospitality Fund, the luxury resort developer said late Monday. The 1.35 billion yuan (S$282.2 million) deal comes as part of plans between Banyan Tree and Vanke to form a strategic partnership in China. The purchase was made through JV vehicle Shanghai Yuewan Enterprise Management, with Banyan Tree holding a 6.7 per cent stake and Vanke holding the remaining 93.3 per cent.

Singapore Airbnb hosts fined S$60,000 each over illegal rentals

THE two men who ran a business providing unauthorised short-term stays in a condominium in the Holland Village area were fined S$60,000 each on Tuesday. Former property agents Terence Tan En Wei, 35, and Yao Songliang, 34, had pleaded guilty to four charges earlier in February and on Tuesday were fined S$15,000 per charge. This is the first case of prosecution for a breach of the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) rules on short-term rentals. Rules making home sharing illegal kicked in on May 15 last year. In their business, the duo earned at least S$19,000 from four listings over five weeks last year. The prosecution had sought to fine each man S$80,000, while the defendants hoped to pay a maximum fine of S$20,000 each. But District Judge Kenneth Choo said the S$80,000 fine was too excessive, as the profits of the duo was S$19,000.

Australian home prices slip for 6th straight month in March

HOME prices across Australia’s major cities slipped for a sixth straight month in March as tighter lending rules clamped down on investment demand in Sydney and Melbourne, although some other centres fared better. Property consultant CoreLogic said on Tuesday its index of home prices for the combined capital cities slipped 0.2 per cent in March, after it fell 0.3 per cent in February. Annual growth in prices slowed to just 0.8 per cent, from 2 per cent in February and 10.5 per cent in the middle of 2017.

Rate hike fears pushing home buyers to fixed-rate loans

HOME buyers are catching on that interest rates are rising and more are taking up fixed rate loans, say banks. Amid the home buying frenzy which has sent prices soaring, borrowers are locking in the interest rates for their mortgages although they cost more than the current floating rate loans.

Floating rate loans are quoted about 20 basis points cheaper than fixed rate loans. The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) overall private home price index surged 3.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year over the preceding quarter, based on a flash estimate released on Monday.




This marks the steepest quarter-on-quarter hike since Q2 2010, when the index climbed 5.3 per cent. The index is now up 4.6 per cent from a year ago. “With the expectation of further interest rate increases in the US, we are seeing more customers opting for fixed rate packages,” said Lim Beng Hua, United Overseas Bank head of secured loans Singapore.

“Fixed rate loans offer more certainty as they lock in a rate for the first few years. These loans are suitable for owner occupiers and those with a longer investment time horizon as partial repayments (during the fixed rate period) are generally restricted and come with a penalty,” said Mr Lim.

George Yeo tapped for new Yangon development

FORMER Singapore foreign minister George Yeo has been tapped to help lead the development of a Yangon city extension billed to spur growth for Myanmar, just like what Shenzhen city did for China. The massive industrialisation effort will cover an area more than twice the size of Singapore. Lying west of the river by Myanmar’s commercial capital, it will contain homes, factories, power plants and water treatment plants. Its development will be driven by the New Yangon Development Co (NYDC), which is fully owned by the Yangon region government but will have Myanmar tycoon Serge Pun as its chief executive. Mr Yeo is an independent director in NYDC.

Perennial forms JV with Qingjian to develop former Goodluck Garden site

PERENNIAL Real Estate Holdings has entered into a joint venture (JV) with Qingjian Group to jointly develop the former Goodluck Garden residential site in Singapore. Perennial said on Wednesday that it has through its subsidiary, PRE 9, entered into a 40-60 JV with China-based Qingjian Group of companies – comprising subsidiaries of Hong Kong-listed CNQC International Holdings and its minority partners – to jointly develop the site. A freehold residential site, it has a land area of about 360,130 square feet (sq ft), and is located at No 32-46 on Toh Tuck Road.

Far East Consortium bags Estoril for S$224m

HONG Kong-listed Far East Consortium International (FEC), which has just been awarded the collective sale of The Estoril on Holland Road at S$223.938 million, plans to amalgamate the site with that of the adjacent Hollandia that it clinched last month. “We’re planning to redevelop the combined site into a 12-storey condo project with about 350 units averaging 70 square metres, subject to approval by the relevant authorities,” said Dennis Chiu, executive director of FEC, when contacted by BT on Wednesday evening. Both freehold prime District 10 sites are zoned for residential use and are being sold through their respective collective sales.

Four adjoining Jalan Besar shophouses up for sale

FOUR adjoining freehold shophouses at the corner of Jalan Besar and Upper Weld Road have been put on the market. The guide price for 71, 73 ,73A and 73B Jalan Besar is understood to be S$20-24 million. The property is currently owned by a company that has held it for a long time. The two-storey conservation shophouses in the Little India Historic District have a total land area of 3,495 sq ft and a floor area of about 6,407 sq ft. Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2014, the site is zoned “commercial” within a conservation area.




SPH Reit maintains Q2 DPU at 1.4 cents

SPH Reit has declared a distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.40 Singapore cents for the second quarter ended Feb 28, unchanged from a year ago. Its net property income for the quarter slipped 1.1 per cent from a year ago to S$42.3 million, due mainly to lower revenue from Paragon, a retail mall located along Orchard Road. Gross revenue dipped 0.8 per cent year-on-year to S$53.59 million during the period.

Global Dragon buying Katong Omega Apartments for S$46.3m in en bloc deal

CATALIST-listed Global Dragon Limited, the former TMC Education Corporation that recently changed its core business from education to property development and property investment, has dipped its toes into the collective sales market as well. It is buying Katong Omega Apartments in a collective sale for S$46.31 million. This was the highest bid among seven contenders at the close of the public tender on April 5, according to marketing agent Teakhwa Real Estate. Global Dragon is now controlled by Singapore tycoon Koh Wee Meng, the chief executive of real estate company Fragrance Group. He owns a 53.05 per cent stake in the group following the close of his mandatory takeover through a private vehicle.

Adding value without demolition, rebuilding: Regenerating Singapore’s modernist icons

SINGAPORE’S modernist megastructures show heroic scale and muscular form, yet their vulnerability is painfully apparent in the actual and attempted collective sale of Pearl Bank Apartments, People’s Park Complex and Golden Mile Complex. These were all built during the earliest phases of the government’s Sale of Sites Programme, an important mechanism behind Singapore’s uniquely successful urban renewal. People’s Park Complex and Golden Mile Complex were part of the first sale in 1967, while Pearl Bank Apartments was part of the third sale in 1969, conceived by planners and architects at the time as a bold, new mode of city living. Barely 50 years on, we are now looking at the likely demise and permanent erasure of these modernist landmarks from Singapore’s built environment. Since the news of the sales surfaced, there have been public debates for and against their conservation, throwing up various issues that warrant examination at a deeper, structural level.

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